On June 20, 9-year-old Emma McCready of Phoenix represented Oregon in a national academic competition for blind students during the ninth annual National Braille Challenge, held in Los Angeles. McCready, who is totally blind due to retinopathy of prematurity, was chosen from more than 600 of the top blind and visually impaired students from across the U.S. and Canada.

On June 20, 9-year-old Emma McCready of Phoenix represented Oregon in a national academic competition for blind students during the ninth annual National Braille Challenge, held in Los Angeles. McCready, who is totally blind due to retinopathy of prematurity, was chosen from more than 600 of the top blind and visually impaired students from across the U.S. and Canada.

Along with 60 other blind students in the 6-19 age bracket, she competed in categories that required her to transcribe, type and read braille using a device called a Perkins Brailler. Each category is designed to test braille skills in reading comprehension, braille spelling, chart and graph-reading, proofreading and braille speed and accuracy. Every participant received a trophy for their efforts.

Emma is an avid braille reader and outstanding student at Orchard Hill Elementary School. She began learning to read braille when she was 4. Despite the fact that she is the only blind student at her school, she has excelled academically. When she's not busy reading her favorite books in braille, she spends her free time practicing her creative writing skills. Her favorite subject is writing, and she hopes to pursue a career in that field. She also enjoys the outdoors, roller skating, ice skating, rock climbing and riding her scooter.